HTC Vive VR headset will be available to pre-order on Feb. 29

HTC has confirmed that the Vive virtual reality (VR) headset will be available to pre-order on February 29. The company has not provided information on pricing yet, but consumers can expect to hear more details about the product towards the end of next month.

The Vive will begin shipping to consumers in March – a month after the Oculus Rift headset releases.

In an interview with The Telegraph, HTC CEO Cher Wang said that the company has refocused its efforts away from phones to VR technology, which Wang said is “more important”.

The HTC VIVE headset features high quality graphics, 90 frames per second video. The company is also releasing wireless VR controllers for the headset. Source: HTC

When asked whether HTC would reduce the size of its smartphone business this year Wang said: “Now we are more realistic,”

She added: “We feel that we should apply our best design to different type of sectors. Yes, smartphones are important, but to create a natural extension to other connected devices like wearables and virtual reality is more important.

“We have a vision of smartphones with different types of form factors, it won’t always look like this.”

“With virtual reality, technology becomes limitless. You can inhabit a different world with a head mount. Think how it could change surgery, education, science, even shopping,” she said.

The HTC Vive will compete head-to-head with the Oculus Rift.

There has been no word on how much the Vive will cost, but it was recently confirmed that the Oculus Rift is launching at $599.

The higher than expected price tag of the Rift has become a subject of controversy over the past week, with people expressing frustration with the VR firm for underestimating the price of the product in the past.

Oculus founder Palmer Luckey had previously said that the Rift would have a price tag of around $350.

In an AMA session with Luckey on Reddit a user asked: “My question is why was the messaging about price so poor? $599 is not in the ballpark of $350 when your target audience is the mainstream.”

Luckey replied with the following:

““I handled the messaging poorly. My answer was ill-prepared, and mentally, I was contrasting $349 with $1,500, not our internal estimate that hovered close to $599 — that is why I said it was in roughly the same ballpark. Later on, I tried to get across that the Rift would cost more than many expected, in the past two weeks particularly. There are a lot of reasons we did not do a better job of prepping people who already have high end GPUs, legal, financial, competitive, and otherwise, but to be perfectly honest, our biggest failing was assuming we had been clear enough about setting expectations.”